Thursday, April 17, 2014

shop preview: a folk dance-ready dirndl, polka dots, flowers, and better photos!

This shop preview represents not just a pretty collection of clothing (really, there's some super stuff here--that dirndl!), but a change in the way things are done here at Small Earth Vintage.  Likely, you won't even notice the change, which is just as well.  For years I've been photographing in our basement, using studio lights.  This has been convenient with plenty of space for taking pictures and an independence from Michigan's fickle sunshine.  (This was a vast improvement from where I started out taking photos--on our deck, in all weather.)  Shooting in the basement often worked just fine, but the photos frequently had an annoying blue cast.  I spent a lot of time editing the photos later to get the colors correct. 

I finally got tired enough of the situation to do something about it.  We get lots of natural light in our living room, even on days that aren't sunny, and there's plenty of space there to shoot clothing photos.  So I set up a backdrop in our living room, hauled up my mannequin and dress form, and the  results are below.  Even though the day was not as sunny as promised, I am pleased with the results.  The photos turned out really nicely, with true colors, and barely any post-photography tweaking needed.

After the preview there's a little collage showing the evolution of my photography for SEV since 2008.  Hopefully, things are much improved! 

All these pretties are arriving in the shop starting today.

1940s Lanz embroidered FOLKLORETANZ dirndl.

1950s polka dot sleeveless blouse.

1940s embroidered lilac linen dress with lacy bustle (!), a Barbara Field Original.

1950s tulip heads print polished cotton blouse.

1950s floral print voile dress.

1960s red polka dot pleated skirt, by Majestic.

1950s pink peonies print party dress, by Semiteen.

1960s silver wicker pattern top, by Betty Lane, deadstock with tags.

1950s Sudden Squall watercolor print dress, by Mardene.

1950s Arts & Crafts floral print blouse with Peter Pan collar.

Small Earth Vintage photos, through the years.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

shop accessories preview: cowgirl boots, 1940s oxfords, and 1950s eyewear

Red cowgirl boots, 1950s eyeglasses, a tooled leather bag with a horse on it, and more fabulous accessories are coming to the shop, starting today!

Red leather Tony Lama cowgirl boots.

Deadstock 1970s brown leather Dr. Hiss brogues...two more pairs of these in women's size 6 1/2 and 7 coming to the shop.

Deadstock kiltie fringe stack heel loafers by Johansen.

Deadstock 1940s white perforated leather oxford heels by Dr. Hiss, with box.

1950s etched aluminum eyeglass frames by Tura.

Large tooled leather bag with a floral and horse motif.

1950s mauve and burgundy atomic print clip-on bow tie.

1950s green plaid bow tie with shiny Lurex thread by Ormond.

1960s paisley print silk chiffon Vera Neumann scarf.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

shop preview: springing forward

Things are slowly budding and turning green here in Michigan at last...and the shop is (hopefully a little more quickly) blooming with flower prints and spring color!  Here is a preview of the pretty things coming to the shop this week, starting today.

1950s windowpane check BRICK HOUSE dress, Delrano Original by Georgette.

1950s brown plaid CAMP COFFEE blouse, by Ship 'N Shore.

1940s black crepe dress with satin ribbon and rhinestone trim.

1970s nautical flags print skirt.

1940s sheer crepe COTTON BLOOM print dress.

1960s blue mosaic print cotton blouse.

1960s gray polka dot dress and jacket set, by Leslie Pomer.

1950s copper lace and satin party dress.

1960s red and white floral print cotton blouse.

1950s white floral crochet lace dress.

1940s sheer brown nylon pintucks blouse, by Judy Bond.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

i spy: a grand hotel and an alpine Gasthaus, women in amazing coats, and a dreamboat in a hamster suit

Thanks to the release of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, I was in an even more mitteleuropäisch state of mind than usual last month.  (I really loved the film, needless to say.  It's probably my favorite Wes Anderson film to date, and I'm a big fan of his.)  So Alpine scenes, grand hotels, and certain actors have been popping up frequently on my Pinterest and Tumblr.  But I realize this is a vintage blog, so you'll be happy to know I also spotted some great fashion and fashion-related images last month, possibly rekindled my interest in The Sartorialist, and discovered a great new online collection at the Cooper-Hewitt.


clockwise, starting at upper left:
*Mendl's Bakery in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel 
*Sertiweg by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1926 | WikiPaintings
*Christoph Waltz playing the hamster equivalent of Salieri in the sublimely silly Jimmy Kimmel mini-film, Ameowadeus | watch it here
*Hungarian actor S.Z. Sakall on the set of Casablanca (1942). | A Certain Cinema
*Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli, a restaurant and hotel tucked into the side of the Swiss Alps. | photo by Rowena Waack

*a woman in Paris wearing a coat that looks like it's made from couch upholstery...but I love it! | Street Style Aesthetic
*woman wearing Prada in Paris. | The Sartorialist (I'd stopped looking at The Sartorialist awhile back because I just wasn't much inspired by the fashions he photographed.  This photo has me reconsidering that!)
*Christian Berard illustration on the cover of the November 1936 French Vogue | via
*18th century sales sample book of buttons | Cooper-Hewitt (check out their online collections...I could get lost there for hours)
*"Fitting shoes" photo by Lisa Larsen taken at Capezio Theatrical Shoes, New York, ca 1947, for Liberty Magazine. | Picture of the Year International archive


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

shop preview: eyelet lace, lipstick red gabardine and print blouses

A gorgeous 1920s wedding-worthy dress, a lipstick red 1940s suit, an embroidered Lanz sundress, and lots of cute print blouses...all in this week's shop preview!  All items arriving in the shop starting today.

1920s eyelet lace and pintucks white cotton batiste dress.

1950s fruit print cotton blouse, New Era styled by Peter Pan.

1960s Lanz embroidered aqua blue piqué cotton sundress.

1960s nautical anchor embroidered top, by Aileen.

1940s lipstick red gabardine skirt suit.

1950s cotton butterfly print blouse, New Era styled by Peter Pan.

1970s dress with lacy rose bodice and floral print skirt.

1960s blue floral print blouse, New Era styled by Peter Pan.

1950s black velvet cocktail dress with rhinestones.

1980s cropped tapestry jacket with plum trim.

1960s green goddess printed chiffon maxi dress.

1960s orange floral print sleeveless blouse.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Elsa Peretti's Tuscan tower, and the right-click

I like pretty pictures.  Who doesn't?  Sites like Pinterest and Tumblr (and I'm a fairly avid user of both) cater to this, inundating (overwhelming?) the user with thousands of beautiful images.  However, I also love information.  How frustrating it is to see a photo of a delicious-looking cocktail or meal on Pinterest, only to click the image and have it not lead to a recipe.  (Some people, apparently, are really just into beautiful pictures of food, and not the food itself.)  As much as I like pictures of beautiful things, most of the time I find that my appreciation of the image is much enhanced by having some information about it.

Photo by Fritz von der Schulenburg

That's when I find the right-click useful.  When you right-click a photo (using Google Chrome anyway), one of the options you get is "Search Google for this image."  (You can also search using the Google Image Search, here...but it's a lot quicker to just right click.)  When I saw the above photo in my Tumblr feed, it had no caption, and led nowhere.  I right-clicked and, voila!  I found a post on an interior design blog with a host of information.  This photo was taken in La Torre, the Tuscan holiday retreat of jewelry designer Elsa Peretti.  La Torre is a 16th century watchtower, and rather than whitewash the walls and keep the interiors (historically accurately) bare, Peretti and her architect, Renzo Mongiardino, decided to go full-on fantasy, creating a fairy tale-like atmosphere with trompe l'oeil effects like the incredible fireplace you see here. 

Spiral stairs that lead to a rooftop terrace.  |  Photo by Fritz von der Schulenburg.

The right click doesn't always work.  Often, it leads only to thousands of Pinterest or Tumblr "sources" which have no further information about the photo.  But I've found it's always worth the couple of seconds it takes to click and look.

A collection of paintings hanging on a wall painted with stripes in Peretti's bedroom.  |  Photo by Fritz von der Schulenburg.

The bathroom has both real terracotta tiles, and trompe l'oeil stenciled ones.  |  Photo by Fritz von der Schulenburg.

The guest room, with its beautifully stenciled walls.  |  Photo by Fritz von der Schulenburg.

 You can see and read more about La Torre at The Art of the Room.



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